Enough already with the stages of grief

There is no such thing as the stages of grief. Period. Trying to fit your grief into this artificial construct is ridiculous, and in some cases, damaging.

Here’s another in the video series on surviving grief. This one’s on the stages of grief. More accurately it’s about how Elisabeth Kübler-Ross got it so horribly wrong, and why we need to stop perpetuating this myth of the 5 stages of grief.

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4 thoughts on “Enough already with the stages of grief”

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    Thanks so much, Susan, for doing your part to help rid the airwaves and the popular literature of the myth that grief happens in stages! This is such an additional and unnecessary burden to place on the shoulders of the bereaved, and we in the field need to help dispose of it, once and for all! Bless you!

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      Thanks for your comments. I agree it’s a burden, and it’s not just popular culture. This nonsense has made it into professional literature as well. It gets taught in counseling programs (those that teach about grief at all). Hopefully our combined efforts are turning the tide.

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    Dear Susan,

    First of all, thank you for your work and expertise. I really find comfort in watching and listening to your thoughts on grieving.

    My mom passed away 4 years ago, and my dog passed away a year and half ago. Throughout this time I have been going through a smorgasbord of feelings and emotions. Meantime, while consciously making an effort to bring more healing and peace into my life recently, I have been hearing about these stages of grief. Just skimming over some of the articles I’ve read, some would have 5 stages, some 7. And, then it made me think, “Have I been going through these stages like I’m ‘suppose’ to?” Unsure about the stages, I thought maybe my grieving was erratic in every which way. For that reason, I thought that maybe I wasn’t grieving properly because of these regimented stages that I started to hear about.

    After watching your video tonight, I realized and was enlightened by the fact that there is no step-by-step process; we just go through the thoughts and emotions as they surface. Your video, in fact, really put me at ease that my grieving, and the way I’m grieving is the “right” way for me. And, I’ve been doing it “correctly” all along.

    So, thank you, thank you, thank you, for this video. I really needed to see this, and know that I am okay right where I’m at in my grieving.

    Much Appreciation,

    Vanessa Daniel

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